Tutorial: Create a template spec with linked templates (Preview)

Learn how to create a template spec with a main template and a linked template. You use template specs to share ARM templates with other users in your organization. This article shows you how to create a template spec to package a main template and its linked templates using the relativePath property of the deployment resource.

Prerequisites

An Azure account with an active subscription. Create an account for free.

Note

Template Specs is currently in preview. To use it with Azure PowerShell, you must install version 5.0.0 or later. To use it with Azure CLI, use version 2.14.2 or later.

Create linked templates

Create the main template and the linked template.

To link a template, add a deployments resource to your main template. In the templateLink property, specify the relative path of the linked template in accordance with the path of the parent template.

The linked template is called linkedTemplate.json, and is stored in a subfolder called artifacts in the path where the main template is stored. You can use one of the following values for the relativePath:

  • ./artifacts/linkedTemplate.json
  • /artifacts/linkedTemplate.json
  • artifacts/linkedTemplate.json

The relativePath property is always relative to the template file where relativePath is declared, so if there is another linkedTemplate2.json that is called from linkedTemplate.json and linkedTemplate2.json is stored in the same artifacts subfolder, the relativePath specified in linkedTemplate.json is just linkedTemplate2.json.

  1. Create the main template with the following JSON. Save the main template as azuredeploy.json to your local computer. This tutorial assumes you've saved to a path c:\Templates\linkedTS\azuredeploy.json but you can use any path.

    {
      "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
      "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
      "parameters": {
        "location": {
          "type": "string",
          "defaultValue": "westus2",
          "metadata":{
            "description": "Specify the location for the resources."
          }
        },
        "storageAccountType": {
          "type": "string",
          "defaultValue": "Standard_LRS",
          "metadata":{
            "description": "Specify the storage account type."
          }
        }
      },
      "variables": {
        "appServicePlanName": "[concat('plan', uniquestring(resourceGroup().id))]"
      },
      "resources": [
        {
          "type": "Microsoft.Web/serverfarms",
          "apiVersion": "2016-09-01",
          "name": "[variables('appServicePlanName')]",
          "location": "[parameters('location')]",
          "sku": {
            "name": "B1",
            "tier": "Basic",
            "size": "B1",
            "family": "B",
            "capacity": 1
          },
          "kind": "linux",
          "properties": {
            "perSiteScaling": false,
            "reserved": true,
            "targetWorkerCount": 0,
            "targetWorkerSizeId": 0
          }
        },
        {
          "type": "Microsoft.Resources/deployments",
          "apiVersion": "2020-10-01",
          "name": "createStorage",
          "properties": {
            "mode": "Incremental",
            "templateLink": {
              "relativePath": "artifacts/linkedTemplate.json"
            },
            "parameters": {
              "storageAccountType": {
                "value": "[parameters('storageAccountType')]"
              }
            }
          }
        }
      ]
    }
    

    Note

    The apiVersion of Microsoft.Resources/deployments must be 2020-06-01 or later.

  2. Create a directory called artifacts in the folder where the main template is saved.

  3. Create the linked template with the following JSON:

    {
      "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
      "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
      "parameters": {
        "storageAccountType": {
          "type": "string",
          "defaultValue": "Standard_LRS",
          "allowedValues": [
            "Standard_LRS",
            "Standard_GRS",
            "Standard_ZRS",
            "Premium_LRS"
          ],
          "metadata": {
            "description": "Storage Account type"
          }
        },
        "location": {
          "type": "string",
          "defaultValue": "[resourceGroup().location]",
          "metadata": {
            "description": "Location for all resources."
          }
        }
      },
      "variables": {
        "storageAccountName": "[concat('store', uniquestring(resourceGroup().id))]"
      },
      "resources": [
        {
          "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts",
          "apiVersion": "2019-04-01",
          "name": "[variables('storageAccountName')]",
          "location": "[parameters('location')]",
          "sku": {
            "name": "[parameters('storageAccountType')]"
          },
          "kind": "StorageV2",
          "properties": {}
        }
      ],
      "outputs": {
        "storageAccountName": {
          "type": "string",
          "value": "[variables('storageAccountName')]"
        }
      }
    }
    
  4. Save the template as linkedTemplate.json in the artifacts folder.

Create template spec

Templates specs are stored in resource Groups. Create a resource group, and then create a template spec with the following script. The template spec name is webSpec.

New-AzResourceGroup `
  -Name templateSpecRG `
  -Location westus2

New-AzTemplateSpec `
  -Name webSpec `
  -Version "1.0.0.0" `
  -ResourceGroupName templateSpecRG `
  -Location westus2 `
  -TemplateFile "c:\Templates\linkedTS\azuredeploy.json"

When you are done, you can view the template spec from the Azure portal or by using the following cmdlet:

Get-AzTemplateSpec -ResourceGroupName templatespecRG -Name webSpec

Deploy template spec

You can now deploy the template spec. Deploying the template spec is just like deploying the template it contains, except that you pass in the resource ID of the template spec. You use the same deployment commands, and if needed, pass in parameter values for the template spec.

New-AzResourceGroup `
  -Name webRG `
  -Location westus2

$id = (Get-AzTemplateSpec -ResourceGroupName templateSpecRG -Name webSpec -Version "1.0.0.0").Versions.Id

New-AzResourceGroupDeployment `
  -TemplateSpecId $id `
  -ResourceGroupName webRG

Next steps

To learn about deploying a template spec as a linked template, see Tutorial: Deploy a template spec as a linked template.